Marshall Ends Short Break Monday Morning

The Thundering Herd football team had about a day and one-half off after Saturday's scrimmage, returning to the field on Monday morning for the first practice of two. After watching the film from the scrimmage over the weekend, Coach Mark Snyder said the thing that was most apparent to him in watching the film was the Herd needed to work on fundamentals.

Marshall coaches also moved a couple of players on Monday to lend help at positions that need some depth. Chuck Roberts, a sophomore corner, moved to wide receiver where his speed will be an asset. Roberts won a regional championship in the 200m in high school in Guyton, Georgia, then finished seventh in the state. Also moving was tight end-turned offensive tackle Joe Bragg, who was at defensive end today. On the 11th play of team, Bragg stepped in front of a Brian Anderson pass and returned it for a bout a 30-yard touchdown. He was all-state at Morgantown High School as a tight end and defensive end.

Chuck Roberts picked off a pass in the Green-White game as a corner. On Monday, however, he was at wide receiver and tackle Joe Bragg moved to defensive end.. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff

"Chuck wasn't getting any reps at corner," said Snyder after the morning's 22 period (each five minutes long) workout. "We need wideouts. Joe wasn't getting any reps with the offensive line and we need defensive linemen. He was not too bad (today)." Bragg returned an interception for a touchdown at defensive end in 2003 in a state playoff game against Cabell Midland and was a two-time All-State player and three year starter for Morgantown.

When asked about Saturday's scrimmage, the thing that bothered Snyder most was just one thing. "Fundamentals," said Snyder. "We're not where we need to be fundamentally. I challenged our team to take what they are being taught in individual over to group work. The coaches get off the field when we go to group work and (the team) loses all its fundamentals. We are not a fundamentally-sound team right now."

Saturday's scrimmage, like most first scrimmages, was a mixed bag. Every good offensive play may mean there was a defensive bust, and vice-versa. "There was good and bad," said Snyder. "Most glaring was the transition of fundamentals from individuals to group stuff. It was a point of emphasis today, to take it to team. We went a little longer on individual than team. We gave them a good 20 minutes of team and went ones on twos and twos on ones so we could concentrate on our fundamentals a little bit more."

In team, Bernard Morris hit the first five passes in a row, finding Chubb Small, Darius Passmore, Cody Slate (twice) and Darius Marshall. Brian Anderson had some protection issues, having to run on his first attempt, then hitting E.J. Wynn for a three-yard loss when John Jacobs was all over the receiver on the swing pass. His next pass was dropped by Terrell Edwards, but the back would have been dropped for a loss by Maurice Kitchens if he had caught the ball. A nice toss to Slate for 15 yards was followed by the pass straight into the hands of Bragg and the new defensive end ran to the end zone like the tight end he once was.

On the next play, Darius Marshall burst through a small hole and turned what looked like very little into at least a 30-yard gain as the freshman tailback continued to impress as he did in Saturday's scrimmage. He later added a 20-yard run. The other quarterbacks were up and down: Wesley Beardain hit just 2-of-5 against the first team defense, including a pass broken up by safety Aaron Johnson and an interception by C.J. Spillman. Morris connected with Slate for a beautiful 60-yard touchdown as the Herd's sophomore tight end got behind the second team secondary. Anderson was 4-of-9 with a pick, Morris finished 8-of-10, hitting six in a row to start and the long touchdown to Slate, and Mark Cann hit one of two, and should have been perfect but the receiver did not get his head around on a hot read.

NOTES:Marshall will workout again on Monday afternoon at 3:20 p.m. No workouts have been opened this week, so far, to the public but Saturday will be open for "Choose-A-Seat" day promotions. Marshall has about 4,000 season tickets left to sell in a record-setting year...Vinny Curry was limited today in practice in a gold "no contact" jersey, which is why Bragg got so many reps with the second team...The Herd will have a single workout on Tuesday and Thursday this week, double practices on Monday, Wednesday and Friday...Wednesday is also "Paint The Capital City Green" at the Charleston Embassy Suites. Tickets are nearly sold out, check with the Big Green at 866-443-7310 for information.

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